Monday, July 7, 2008

Avon Author Terri Garey's Back in the Lair!

by Beth Andrews

I'd like to welcome Avon author Terri Garey back to the blog! Her newest release, A Match Made in Hell, is available now :-)

The Sanderson Sisters and Their Twelve Husbands

I’m a big believer in the “real life is stranger than fiction” theory. I mean, half the things that happen in real life would seem unbelievable if you read them on the page. My husband has been urging me for years to write a book about my three sisters, but—as I’ve pointed out to him on more than one occasion—they’d never speak to me again if I did. (To which his answer is, invariably, “And the problem with this is….?”)

Hence, the title of today’s blog (names have been changed to protect the innocent… meaning me!) Tell me, would you pick up a book with that title the bookstore? Just curious… he may be onto something!

Alas, since I’m not ready to be an only child just yet, that heartbreaking work of staggering genius will have to wait. *sigh* (Still, the holidays are coming up – one more Thanksgiving dinner may just be the push I need!)

Luckily, I have plenty of other material besides my immediate family – sometimes the universe just has a way of dumping odd characters on your doorstep. While I never answer my door if I can help it (for that very reason), I find myself unable to avoid this phenomenon when I travel.

As an example, let me tell you about a weekend trip I took a while ago to attend a writing conference. My flight was delayed, so when I arrived it was after dark. As I made my way curbside to grab a taxi, I was literally descended on by three men in suits who had stationed themselves near baggage claim, each of them loudly vying for my business. The conference hotel was nearly 45 minutes away, so I knew I had an expensive trip ahead of me, and went with the guy who told me he’d charge ten dollars less than the other two guys. The smug look he threw at his competitors should’ve been my first clue that all was not well in limo land. We had to walk to the parking garage to find his Lincoln Towncar, which I found odd. Odder still—once my luggage was in the trunk and I was in the back seat—he proceeded to regale me with the tale of his triumphant return to the taxi business. It seems that my oh-so-charming companion had just recently gotten out of the hospital, having had a run-in with a shady gentleman by the name of “Fat Mitch”, who had been determined to run my poor, innocent driver out of business, by hook or by crook. Oh, the evils of Fat Mitch, the levels he would go to! I heard all about it for the next 45 minutes, speeding down the Jersey turnpike—in the dark, in the rain, all alone with a guy who was evidently a target of the Jersey mob. All I could do was pray the towncar was bulletproof! By the time he told me that he’d seen the ghost of his deceased mother sitting in the front seat of that very same towncar right after he’d been to the funeral home to pick up her ashes, I was white as a ghost myself.

But the trip held more surprises, and more odd characters. The next day, on my way to a workshop, I noticed a middle-aged blonde woman standing in the middle of a hotel hallway. She had a dazed look in her eye, as though she was deep in thought. (Hey, I know you’re thinking, “Writer’s conference, dazed woman… what’s the big deal?) Well, when the workshop was over, I walked by again, and she was still standing there, in the exact same place, directly in the center of the hallway. An hour later, I traversed the same hallway, and there she was again! Facing the opposite direction this time, but still there. It was then I went to find hotel staff and advise them they might have a little bit more than your average crazed romance writer on their hands. Poor woman.

Unfortunately for me, I’d booked my room late and was therefore forced to take a cab to a neighboring hotel that evening. I glommed on to some total strangers who were in the same boat, sharing a cab so I didn’t have to risk the “Jersey ride of death” again myself, but the next morning I was out of luck and on my own. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when a perfectly normal Yellow Cab with a perfectly normal-looking woman behind the wheel showed up, but for some reason the woman decided that I was the perfect person with which to share the juicy details of her recent breakup, which involved strippers, her teenage daughter, an ex-boyfriend with a drug and alcohol problem, and something about linguine. (If anybody can figure out the linguine part, please let me know. I was numb by that point.)

By the time the conference was over, a Bandita with a British accent, a shoe problem and a husband who looks like Colin Firth was kind enough to take me to the airport (for which I shall be forever grateful!). The heavens, however, were not so cooperative, and heavy rains delayed my flight once again. Anyone who’s been stranded in an airport at 2 o’clock in the morning knows it’s a recipe for disaster, and New Jersey did not disappoint. My first encounter was with a young, chatty guy who turned out to be a rapper deejay with a stage name so filthy that I refuse to type it. I still have his business card around here somewhere; he wanted me to look him up if I ever needed entertainment at a party, or like… a wedding. (Yeah, right.)

Then, a woman who’d attended the same writing conference came up—being stuck in the airport, just like me—and struck up a conversation. Thank the Lord (says I), a fellow romance writer! Well-dressed! Well-groomed! A light at the end of the tunnel!

Not. The woman handed me her card by way of introduction, and all I can tell you is that her pen name was the equivalent of Sunstar Moonflower. She was “dabbling” in writing a futuristic romance, which was based on the “true story” of her abduction by aliens, and the resulting universal truths that they imparted to her. I still get regular email newsletters from her that talk about the “new earth” and the “unified field of consciousness”, in which she refers to herself as a “visionary”. (Earth to Sunstar: the aliens may have landed, but they’d probably choose a better vehicle to disseminate knowledge than online newsletters.)

My point, if you’ve read this far, is that real life truly is stranger than fiction. I couldn’t have made up these characters or these experiences if I tried! But they give me great fodder for my writing, and keep me out of trouble with my sisters. So far. J (Although one of them is about to get married again… which would make my imaginary title The Sanderson Sisters and Their Thirteen Husbands, but I digress. )

So what’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you? Who’s the oddest person you’ve ever met? What experience have you had that people would find hard to believe actually happened? Share, and I’ll choose one lucky commenter to win a signed copy of my newest release from Avon HarperCollins, A Match Made In Hell.


flchen1 said...

Wow, Terri--you've had quite the collection of uh, interesting experiences!

flchen1 said...

Well, I must be blocking all of my far-out experiences. I believe that possibly once, at least one of my children obeyed promptly without my needing to repeat myself. Of course, that hasn't happened again, so I may have been hallucinating ;)

I can't wait to pick up my own copy of The Sanderson Sisters and Their Thirteen Husbands ;) Congrats on your latest, Terri! (Book, not husband!)

terrio said...

That's an understatement flchen1. LOL! And congrats on the bird. Finally, some of us late starters had a chance.

I've always said someday I'll write a book about my cousins. Five girls, all a mess but one and that one has had the worst luck. Strippers, drugs, biker gangs, multiple husbands, baby daddies, and the mandatory boob job. As you say, I couldn't make this stuff up. LOL!

Thank goodness you survived that limo ride! That would have scared the crap out of me.

jo robertson said...

What a hilarious post, Terri! Welcome to the Lair.

I've always been a firm believer that truth IS stranger than fiction and if we were to write our personal experiences as stories, some editor would reject them out of hand as totally unbelievable

I rarely leave the country anymore because of such strange -- and in our case -- dangerous experiences. In Guatemala our rented jeep was hijacked and we were held hostage for six hours. In Jerusalem a bomb went off in the vacant lot next to us. Citizens of foreign countries are not safe when we are on their soil.

I'm just saying.

Fedora, congrats on the rooster!

Terri said...

Hi, ladies - it's nice to be back among the Banditas!

Yes, all of that in one weekend (any wonder that I haven't been back to NJ since?) That cab ride was truly hair-raising, but Jo's experiences have definitely got mine topped! Held hostage in Guatemala? Eeek!

What's this about Fedora having a rooster?

Beth said...

Welcome back to the lair, Terri!! I can't wait to read about Nicki Styx's latest adventures in A Match Made in Hell!

And not only was I late putting up your wonderful post, but I forgot to tell you about our wonderful Golden Rooster (or GR *g*)? I really am losing it.

The first poster of the day is awarded the GR. Yes, they get to take home our fine feathered, French accented friend (some would say spy but those reports are still unsubstantiated) for the day! As you can imagine, our GR is very well traveled :-)

He's also a repeat guest at Fedora's house ;-)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Congrats on snagging the bird Fedora!

Hey Terry! Welcome back to the Lair. We always love visitors to come chat with us about what's going on in their lives. And wow, what a harrowing weekend.

I've had some odd things happen, mostly associated with directions or people sitting next to me on a bus (when I was young and worked in an office one summer during nursing school).

The oddest, or funniest thing was when I was a young nurse. This was back in the day when we made any visitor not a spouse or FOB (Father of Baby), scrub their hands and put a hospital gown over their clothes.

Well, this particular hospital had a rather interesting mix of clientele and this man with a long beard and bike clothes came to see his granddaughter. We explained he had to wash his hands and put on a gown. He didn't ask any questions and we left him on his on. (We, being me and the other young nurse.)

Next thing we know, we look up and there goes the man down the hall with the gown on, open in back......................

And all his clothes in his hands. Yep, buck naked underneath. When we stopped laughing we (I) had to go tell him to get dressed. hehehe

From then on we were very specific on our directions to the visitors!

Margay said...

Oh, my gosh, Terri, I don't think there's any way I could ever top that list for strange encounters! I don't think I'll even try, but I will leave you with this little incident: Once, years ago, I worked in a neighboring town but I didn't drive then, so I took a bus back and forth. Well, one day, I missed the bus, so I started walking home. Ahead of me was this kind of wild-looking kid with unkempt hair, a long olive drab overcoat and combat boots on. I was a little leery, so I tried to hang back, but I tend to walk fast, so it was hard to stay back. As we neared the corner of the street, this kid (to this day, I'm not sure if it was a girl or a boy) suddenly turned to look at me - and s/he was brushing his/her teeth! Right there as s/he walked! It was one of the most bizarre things I'd ever seen before or since.

Beth said...

Great blog, Terri! You sure do seem to uh...attract...unusual experiences *g*

LOL, Fedora! I'm sure your kids will obey you promptly again at some point. Especially if they want something from you in return *g* My kids are never more helpful or polite than when they need money, permission to do something and/or a ride to get somewhere :-)

terrio,I wonder if we could get away with writing about family members? Whenever I think about putting in something...oh, shall we say wacky...that a family member has done, I chicken out (no offense, GR).

terrio said...

Beth - as it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY my cousins read, I would likely be safe. LOL!

I worked in radio for years and at one station, the owner's son worked the shift after mine. The only reason he was there was because of his daddy. Anyway, the studios were connected by a window which meant while I recorded in the AM studio, he was on the air in the FM studio. I noticed one day he was talking to someone. A lot of someones. But he was alone. Whatever they were saying, he was vehemently agreeing with them.

I informed another co-worker about it and explained as long as he was agreeing with them, we needed to leave him alone. However, as soon as he started arguing with them, we'd know they were telling him to shoot us and it would be time for an intervention.

Terri said...

Oh, Suzanne - some people are so literal, aren't they? LOL

At least the kid was brushing his teeth, Margay! I would've been worried he was going to flash you with that trenchcoat!

Terri said...

Your cousins don't read, Terrio? (actually, I'm kind of hoping my sisters don't, either!)

Margay said...

Ah, I never even thought of that! But to this day, I still wonder how he rinsed - I didn't stick around long enough to find out. I booted it out of there then and left the kid to his own devices!

Minna said...

The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me? Once -many years ago- a taxidriver who was taking me to the kindergarden and some other kids to school (small school, there wasn't enough kids for an entire bus) droppend other kids to school, but he totally forgot about me! He drove to his home and obviously I thought he had just gone to pick something from his home and would come back to drive me to kindergarden. But he never came back and the door in the taxi was locked and I couldn't get to the front seat to check if the front door was open, so I couldn't even get out. Fortunately my parents at home started to feel that everything wasn't right and called to the kindergarden. Obviously, I wasn't there and one of the kindergarden ladies came looking for me, and found me, still inside the taxi. The driver didn't seem to be home, but the front door was indeed open and she helped me to climb to the front seat and to get out of the taxi.

Beth said...

ROFL, Suz!! That is just too funny!! People are amazing, aren't they? I mean, why on earth did he think, even for a moment, that he needed to get undressed?

And I love your new avatar :-)

Margay, that is just weird. Not only the walking around brushing his/her teeth but where does one spit? On the sidewalk? And I can't even imagine brushing my teeth w/o a source of water near by *g*

Beth said...

LOL, terrio! Most of my and my husband's family has read my book so I've been treading carefully with the wacky stories *g*

Eek on the boss's son! Hope he never disagreed with the voices.

Oh, wow, Minna! How scary. So glad they looked for you right away!

And I bet Terri's really glad her limo driver didn't take her to his house.

Anna Sugden said...

YAY!!! Terri's back in the Lair!! And if you haven't bought MATCH MADE IN HELL yet - do it now!! It's awesome!!

ROFL that you posted the Fat Mitch story at long last. Of course, now that I'm leaving NJ your reasons for returning just dropped by another one *G*

Truth is so much stranger than fiction. My family could definitely add to the Sanderson Sisters mix! (though my sis is the only sane one, other than me, in our family) I often think, when contest judges write on my work that my story is implausible, if only you knew!

Hmm - will have to think on the strange experience ... so many to choose from!

Carla Capshaw said...

Terri, I think the alien woman you ran into puts any of my 'odd' moments to shame. lol

I guess my strangest moment was when I was robbed in Canton. One minute I was standing in an empty parking lot, innocently changing money on the black market. The next, my friend and I were surrounded by a sea of scary looking characters demanding all our money.

Needless to say, we handed it over and ran. I spent the long, bank holiday weekend celebrating Chinese New year in Hong Kong with no coinage. Thank God watching the fireworks over Kowloon Harbour was free. :-)

terrio said...

Carla wrote:
innocently changing money on the black market.

Thank goodness I wasn't drinking anything when I read this.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Miss Terri!!! Always fantastic to see you in the lair. Congratulations on the new release! I bet it's a huge hit. Can't wait to see you in San Francisco.

Hey, did you girls know that Miss Terri could walk away with TWO RITA Awards? She's finaled in best first book and best paranormal with her wonderful debut DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY! And by the way, if you win TWO RITAS, you are soooo buying the drinks!

Terri said...

OMG, Minna - that sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen! I'll bet your parents were freaking!

Terri said...

ROFL that you posted the Fat Mitch story at long last. Of course, now that I'm leaving NJ your reasons for returning just dropped by another one *G*

You see? Anna's my proof of 'Fat Mitch'. Yeesh. And it's true - now that she and her dashing hubby will no longer be there, why would I go back?

Terri said...

One minute I was standing in an empty parking lot, innocently changing money on the black market.

Say WHAT?! Isn't that statement a total oxymoron or something? Oh man, Carla, I would've been scared to death! Thrown the money down so they'd chase it and run for all I was worth!

Terri said...

Anna C., my favorite saucy Aussie! WOOHOO! Listen, girl - if I win two RITAs (or even one) you'll be picking me up off the floor before drinks ever become an issue!

I plan on doing all my drinking ahead of time in Napa, anyway! LOL

(Not really, but some of it - all that lovely red wine just waiting to be sampled...)

Anna Campbell said...

Oooooh! I'm so excited that I'm going to discover all these great Californian wines. The problem is American wines aren't readily available here so I'll then have to pine at a distance. And, my friend, I PROMISE to pick you up off the floor if you win a RITA! Good luck!

Cassondra said...

Terri, welcome back to the lair!

I've had some scary experiences and some close calls, but your string of strange encounters would top anything I could share on the "weird" scale.

One of the most surreal was probably on a search (we have a Search & Rescue dog)in a remote part of the state. We thought we were searching for a suicide victim (recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer)and I was by myself in the hills of Kentucky with my dog and a "support" person from the local law enforcement.

Turns out my "support" person was one of the perps. He (a local deputy) and the victim's son had killed the old fellow for his marijuana crop. As we'd clear an area, the deputy would radio his co-criminals and they'd move the body TO the area we'd just searched.

When the facts came out and we found out about it later, talk about surreal.....let's just say I've never gone into the field with my dog unarmed again. I still want to use it in a book, but I'm a little afraid to do so. (grin, worried look, grin).

And FWIW, I LOVE The Standerson Sisters and their Thirteen Husbands. I'd be on that like white on rice.

Jennifer Y. said...

Hi Terri!!

Hmm...strangest person I ever met...hmmm...well, when I was a kid my family (mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.) used to go on vacation every year to Florida. Well, one year when I was about 10 I was hanging out with my sis and older cousins watching the vehicles cruise down the strip when a guy in a heavy coat (this was summer) came up to us and asked if we'd like to pet his kid me had no clue what to say, but my sis quickly grabbed my hand started moving away. And then the guy pulled back his coat and revealed...a REAL pet ferret. He really did have a ferret he was carrying around. He was still a bit creepy though...and we quickly made our way back to our folks.

A couple of months later we were at home when news hit that a woman disappeared from the hotel we had stayed at...wanted for questioning: a man with a ferret. They never did solve that missing person's case though.

Buffie said...

Hey Terri! Are you sure you aren't making all that up? It seems to unreal, but then like you said real life is so unreal at times.

I really don't remember any strange experiences. I mean there was the time in Jerusalem I got into somewhat of a fight with two street vendors who were trying to take my "one american dollar" for a picture. (Jo, we really need to compare stories!) And then there was the time that the Las Vegas police ran after (well biked after as they were on bicycles) my mom, my sister, and I regarding water bottles and cracking down on illegal distributors.

Nope, can't remember a thing :)

Minna said...

The point is... how did my parents know something was wrong BEFORE they even called kindergarden?

We are not quite as eager to sue each other in this part of the world as in the States. The driver dropped by in the kindergarden and apologiced me -and I suppose my parents as well- the same day. I just mumbled something back. The things I really would have wanted to say... I was soo pissed. But he didn't make the same mistake twice.

Marlene said...

I'm beginning to realize you are a comedian, Terri. Between you and our Janice Lynn, you could start a comedy club just sharing the experiences you have. I loved reading your description of your trip. Sorry I am grinning because I know at the time you were terrified, but the way you describe it is wonderful. You should be a writer!!! My daughter is like you - no matter what the story is that she has to relate to us, it comes out funny and, there are times when a mom should't be laughing at her child in pain.

A story I could never write about is the nutty divorce antics of friends of my husband. It would never sell because "normal" people do not act that way. I'd have to move out of the country if I even thought of putting it on paper.

Best of luck on your story - if you need it. I'm thinking it's going to be a block buster!! ;)

Terri said...

Oh, Cassondra - you have GOT to use that in a book! How very, very scary! The phrase "hills of Kentucky" is enough to scare me - I can virtually hear the theme to Deliverance playing in the background! :-)

Terri said...

Hi, Jennifer! I wish I could say that "would you like to pet my ferret" is one I haven't heard before, but... LOL!!

Seriously, there are a lot of strange characters down here in Florida, unfortunately.

But even more in New Jersey. :-)

Beth said...

Anna, I hate being reminded that you're leaving NJ *pout* I can't wait to hear one of your stranger than fiction stories. I honestly can't think of one though I'm sure I've had one or two :-)

Terri said...

Hiya, Buffie! Hand to God, I'm telling the truth - and all in one weekend!

Would you like me to add you to Sunstar Moonflower's mailing list so you can see for yourself? :-) Your consciousness will surely be enlightened as you harness the power within...

Anna Campbell said...

Marlene, as I get older, I've decided 'normal' people will behave in the oddest ways! I think we're all a little queer in the attics.

Laughing at the ferret! And Cassondra, too creepy!

Beth said...

Hi, Carla!! I'm just so glad no one was hurt when you were robbed. How scary! Hope you were able to salvage the rest of your trip.

And Jo! I'm so glad you're safe! Those must've been some of the longest six hours of your life.

Beth said...

Anna, I can't wait until San Fran! The Awards' night is going to be so much fun since we have so many people to cheer for *g*

And I'm all for Terri buying the drinks *vbg*

Tawny said...

Hey Terri! *waving and sending hugs*

Ooooooh on the wierd experiences. I have piles of them. Flickering lights, "messages" from beyond, etc. Nothing like Fat Mitch, though. OMG tooo wild :-D I love your Sanderson Sisters angle and would read that in a heart beat.

btw, Methinks I never want to leave the country with Jo. Just sayin'...

Beth said...

Cassondra, what a surreal experience! Oh, that would be so wonderful in a book, wouldn't it? Wow.

Beth said...

Jennifer, OMG. That is totally freaky. At first I was LOL about him actually having a ferret to pet but then to discover he was a suspect in a missing person case? Gave me the chills. So glad your sister got you both out of there!

Helen said...

Congrats flchen

Fantastic post Terri totally agree life is stranger than fiction, I tend to head in a different direction if I think there is someone strange around and I don't catch taxis and although I would love to travel that I don't do much either, but when sitting in the Doctors surgery waiting to see a Doctor I always get my book out to read and someone always starts talking to me and telling me all about their medical problems and I really don't want to hear about a strangers bowel or medical issues LOL.
A book about sisters would get me in I have three sisters and the stories I could tell would have them not talking to me either.
Congrats on the new book Terri

Have Fun

Beth said...

Buffie, I had no idea you had such a criminal past *g* Did they catch you?

The police in our town just got Segways. Wonder if they can go faster than bikes? Or if I could outrun one on a scooter (the big thing in our town lately)

Not that I have any criminal activities in mind or anything *g*

Jennifer Y. said...

The police in our town just got Segways. Wonder if they can go faster than bikes? Or if I could outrun one on a scooter (the big thing in our town lately)

LOL...that just gave me the funniest their Segways have flashing lights and a siren? LOL

Terri said...

Marlene, c'mon now... a comedian? Me?

Terri said...

Of course Beth and Anna C. are all for me buying the drinks! Tell you what, I'll pick one friend, and then buy every single drink she wants.

(I pick Janice Lynn, because I know she can only handle ONE drink!)

Cassondra said...

Terri said:

The phrase "hills of Kentucky" is enough to scare me - I can virtually hear the theme to Deliverance playing in the background! :-)

LOL! Trust me, you're WAY safer in the hills of Kentucky than you are on the streets (or beaches) of Florida nowadays.
I can't really complain about trouble like that when I go walking out into the woods at night basically looking for stuff--we'd already run through three or four pot fields when we started getting hits on where the poor old fellow had been placed and then moved. It's mostly all in a day's work---well--except for the Deputy perp. :0/ That's not the norm....

Cassondra said...

Terri said:

The phrase "hills of Kentucky" is enough to scare me - I can virtually hear the theme to Deliverance playing in the background! :-)

LOL! Trust me, you're WAY safer in the hills of Kentucky than you are on the streets (or beaches) of Florida nowadays.
I can't really complain about trouble like that when I go walking out into the woods at night basically looking for stuff--we'd already run through three or four pot fields when we started getting hits on where the poor old fellow had been placed and then moved. It's mostly all in a day's work---well--except for the Deputy perp. :0/ That's not the norm....

limecello said...

Wow - that's... pretty special. I don't have an experience like that, and thank goodness. I do have some "small world" experiences... but thankfully nothing too out there.
I currently live in OH, but was in DC last summer, and met this kid on the metro [I jumped into their conversation because they were talking about Taiwan, and that's a random topic - and I wrote a thesis on it...] so I found out he went to Harvard, is from CA, and knew someone else I was close friends with, also from Harvard.
Another time bored on the metro, I saw a girl and struck up conversation, found out she was from Thailand, in DC doing an internship, and/but Mandarin Chinese, which was actually why I approached her. [She had a guidebook in traditional characters.] Those are good/fun experiences though. :P No point in recounting the bad.

Christine Wells said...

Hi Terri, you had me in stitches over your real life experiences. What a great title for a book. I can only imagine the real life story it sprang from.

I can't think of anything too outlandish, athough I was once dissing a television star to friends and the man himself walked into the restaurant while I was still on a roll. He didn't hear me, mercifully. What are the chances?

Congrats on the GR, Fedora!

Wendy said...

Hi, Terri!

I can't say I've meet such strange people as you - the Jersey mob guy story cracked me up! and you mentioned there's lots of strange people down in Florida. Funny, I live here and so far, sure there's a few weirdos every now and then (let's not even mention the old people!) but personally I haven't had such weird experiences.

Anyway, great post! :)

flchen1 said...

Uh, Terri, you've had others approach you before offering to let you pet their ferrets??! (And ditto the glad-you-and-your-sis-hightailed-it-out-of-there, Jennifer Y!)

And Beth, I imagine you're right--I don't think my kids have quite yet figured out that connection! "Hmm... if I'm extra good, maybe Mommy will say 'yes'..."

Gannon Carr said...

Congrats on the GR, Fedora!

Welcome to the Lair, Terri! I absolutely loved Dead Girls Are Easy and A Match Made in Hell is at the top of my TBR pile.

I have been cracking up at all of these stories. Yes indeed, truth is stranger than fiction.

I don't have anything really bizarre, but this one is a little amusing. We lived in Italy a couple of years ago --courtesy of my DH's job in the Navy--and we became good friends with Luigi,a delightful old Italian gentleman who makes magnificent cameos in Pompeii. We often went to dinner with Luigi, his family and a group of friends. One night while we were dining al fresco at this restaurant, a man walked in with two young women. Luigi whispered to us that this man was the local mafia don. I had a hard time not laughing, because this man was probably in his 70's, wearing a cheesy velour jogging suit, gold Elvis-style glasses and the worst black toupee I've ever seen. The two young women were Russian prostitutes that everyone called his "nieces"--apparently he had a lot of "nieces." :D

Kate Carlisle said...

Hey Terri, welcome back to the Lair! Just saw your book at Borders--up on the front table by the door, girl! Nice! Can't wait to read the further adventures of Nicki!

I LOVE the idea of the Sanderson Sisters and their Thirteen Husbands. Fabulous title, high concept...I smell a film deal! :-)

I can't begin to top your weird experiences, LOL, so I'm just stopping by to say hi. Have a fabulous time in Napa and I'll see you in SF. You won't be hard to find with those RITA ribbons all over you!! Woohooo!!

Congrats, flchen1! You've got a thing for our golden one, don't you!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Hi Terri! I love your books, I even bought Weddings From Hell and loved it too!
Other than relatives I don't think I have met any not quite normals. Of course, I don't get out much either.
After reading yours and others stories I think that might be a good thing!
Flchen1, I came home from work and my son's room was free of trash and most of the dirt. I thought I had walked into the Twilight Zone.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

So glad to have you back in the Lair, Terri! esp. considering the Fat Mitch story!

GO GIRL on the Double Rita nomination! We will be CHEERING you on in San Francisco along with our own Double Nominee, FoAnna. As for buying drinks... pick Jo-Mama! She only likes Pepsis. :-) I know because I've plied her with alcohol from beer to Pina Coladas and she takes one sip and is done. However, she is right about the curse. When she and Dr. Big went on a cruise to Mexico with the DH and me, the ship's engine caught fire! That was our 9th cruise and we'd NEVER had anything like that happen...

So yes, truth IS stranger than fiction!

P.S. Don't miss the Sterling Winery in Napa. They have a sky gondola.

Beth said...

Hi, Marlene! It's funny how far from normal some 'normal' people will act *g*

Tawny, your experiences sound wild! Please don't have any while I'm visiting at the of the month, okay? ;-)

Beth said...

Helen, my father gets told a lot of medical problems too but with him, it's because he asks *g* He does seem to love a good medical drama.

Beth said...

LOL...that just gave me the funniest their Segways have flashing lights and a siren? LOL

LOL - I don't think so. But honestly, when I saw the picture of two officers standing on them on the front page of our paper, I couldn't help but wonder how I could outrun one ;-)

Beth said...

limecello, I think small world moments are so cool! And I'm really impressed with anyone who can start a conversation with strangers. I get too tongue tied *g*

LOL, Christine. That is a weird coincidence. Do you suppose if I start dissing George Clooney he'll randomly show up at my house?

Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?


Beth said...

Wendy, I'm afraid we have our fair share of weirdos up North as well. Guess you can't escape them *g* Although they are pretty interesting to watch (from a distance) :-)

Beth said...

And Beth, I imagine you're right--I don't think my kids have quite yet figured out that connection! "Hmm... if I'm extra good, maybe Mommy will say 'yes'..."

LOL. I hate to break it to you but sometimes they don't learn it at all. My 16 yr old still hasn't grasped that concept (although he's an angel when he's on restriction so he does know he needs good behavior to have his freedom returned)

My older daughter has learned that being nice to her dad gets her way more than being snotty. She's actually become quite adept at wrapping him around her finger ;-)

Anna Sugden said...

Terri - actually Janice can only manage half a drink. Isn't that right, Tawny? *g*

Dianna - wasn't Weddings from Hell great ... well, Terri's story in it was *g*. Totally cracked me up ... and yet, scared the life out of me too.

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Terri,

Amusing story:

During my Surgery rotation while in nursing school, I was excited at
being assigned to "scrub" for Dr.
Denton Cooley. (scrub=instrument
nurse) I was then told that it was
to be a special case for a special
patient, but it was Dr. Cooley!The
case turned out to be a gallbladder
removal for the daughter of a
king of a gypsy tribe. The king
insisted that Dr. Cooley perform
the surgery! While the Princess
recovered, the tribe set up camp
on the hospital front lawn! It
wasn't one of Dr. Cooley's world
famous heart surgeries, but it
was a Cooley case and for a 2nd
year nursing student, that was

Pat Cochran

Terri said...

Ooo, Limecello, how I WISH I could speak Mandarin - the hubby tells me it's the hardest language out there. I love those "random connection" incidents - it's like the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" game, where sooner or later everyone find a connection to something, somewhere!

Perfect example: you mentioned Thailand in your post, and today I found out that the foreign rights to DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY just sold in - of all places - Thailand. Now I never, ever even think of Thailand on a day-to-day basis, and yet, here it was, right in front of me, in your blog!

Terri said...

Christine, I am more than willing to talk trash about Hugh Jackman if it means he'll show up. I mean, c'mon - he played a gay guy on Broadway...

Hugh? Hugh? Don't go away mad, honey... I LOVE gay guys! Do you like my shoes?

Ok, ok. I'm now being officially politically incorrect. Somebody spank me.


Terri said...

Hi, Wendy!

We must live in different parts of Florida. :-) I have to say, one of the things I love about it is that's it's such a melting pot - not really completely Southern, full of Northerners, and yet somewhere in-between. :-)

Terri said...

Hi, Gannon! "Cameos in Pompeii" - another phrase that conjures all sorts of great stories. I'd love to see Pompeii! "Luigi and his nieces".. um, I think I'll leave those stories to Fat Mitch. :-)

Dianna, thanks for stopping by! I recommend staying home with the door locked and the phone off the hook to avoid the weirdos. I do it as much as I can, but like I said, sometimes I have to travel. :-) It's worth it when I see my dear friends on the other end (but only just!)

Terri said...

Hiya, Kate? (Have you met my husband? LOL) Long story, but I basically introduced Kate to my husband at least three separate times at our last convention.

See you in SF, and I promise not to introduce you to Bob again.

Terri said...

Oh, Pat - you do have hidden depths, don't you?

Gypsies on the front lawn while the gypsy king's daughter is being operated on - I smell a great romance here! Perhaps the man who tends the stallions is jealous of the great Dr. Cooley, while the fortune-telling grandmother with the second sight sees more than she bargained for in her tea leaves...

Beth said...

Great story, Gannon! I have such a clear picture of The Don in my head - quite different than Don Corleone from The Godfather films, eh? *g*

Kate and Dianna, I don't have any weird stories either which I'm beginning to think is a very good thing! I'm not sure how I'd react if some guy asked me to pet his ferret :-)

Beth said...

AC, that is just unreal about the engine catching fire! Poor Jo sure does have a run of bad luck off of US soil.

Pat that is such a cool story! Not only that you assisted Dr Cooley but the whole Gypsy tribe camping on the front law must've been something to see :-)

Marlene said...

I just thought of a funny thing that happened on a Southwest flight. We were in high spirits because we'd just had a good week at Fan Fair in Nashville - we run Kevin Sharp's fan club. This gorgeous, hunky attendant stopped as he was walking down he aisle and told me if I stuck my hand into his front pants pocket I would find something very interesting.....

Gannon Carr said...

Beth, he was as far from Don Corleone as you can get! *shudder* If Luigi hadn't pointed him out to us, I would have thought he was just a strange, rather pathetic old man. But the truth....definitely stranger than fiction! ;)

Beth said...

Oh, Marlene - LOL! So...did you take him up on his offer??

Gannon, I think a velour jogging suit wearing Don is so much more interesting than a "Dapper" Don though *g* Too bad if I wrote one in a story editors would probably tell me he was unbelievable :-)

Marlene said...

Actually - of course I did, Beth. I suppose you want to know what I pulled out? After all the snickering and red face, I pulled out a coupon for $10 off my next flight on Southwest Airlines. :) I'm thinking he was having too much fun with me - those were the shy days before I got ruined on the Playground.

Christine Wells said...

Beth and Terri, sadly, the guy I was dissing was no Clooney or Jackman. He'd hosted a charity ball I went to and got very drunk and made a fool of himself. I was relating that story when he walked in.

Jennifer Y. said...

Marlene said: "...we run Kevin Sharp's fan club"

OMG! I LOVE him!

Marlene said...

Thank you, Jennifer Y. I just put together the 50th newsletter today. He is definitely worth liking or in my case loving. I've been president of his fan club for 12 1/2 years now.

Janice Lynn said...

Hi Terri. Sorry I missed out on sharing all my oddities. ;) I'm sure it would have been...interesting...well, only if my brain kicked in, but right now it's too sleepy.

Enjoyed reading your post!

Terri said...

Thanks so much for having me, Banditas, ferrets and all! :-)

I'm going to give the signed copy of A Match Made In Hell to Buffie, both to make up for threatening to give her email addy to Sunstar Moonflower, and because she always has the best eye candy in her avatars! Woohoo!!

Buffie, send me an email at with your mailing address and I'll put the book in the mail.

Have a great week, everyone, and don't open the door to any weirdos if you can help it! LOL

Beth said...

What a fun day! Thanks again for being here, Terri!

p226 said...

Oh man. I'm chock full of strange stories. I'm like a magnet for oddness.

Though, I documented what I consider to be the strangest thing to ever happen to me. It was a whole day/night.

WARNING: Graphic language and subject material. But if morbid curiosity gets the better of you, you can read about "Red" here.